Organic board to meet in Portland
By STEVE BROWN
PORTLAND -- The National Organic Standards Board will take up the use of tetracycline on tree fruit and other issues during its meeting, which will be in Portland April 9-11.
The meeting of the board, which occurs twice a year, provides a public forum for the organic community to weigh in on issues concerning organic production and processing.
Comments will be heard on biodegradable mulch, tetracycline use for fire blight control in apple and pear production, amino acids proposed for use in organic pet food and other issues.
The meeting will be the first for newly appointed environmentalist-farmer Francis Thicke. An organic farmer for more than 30 years, Thicke operates an 80-cow certified organic dairy in Fairfield, Iowa, and has been active in the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, the Leopold Group Sierra Club in Southeast Iowa, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission and Food Democracy Now.
Previously he served as a National Program Leader for Soil Science at the USDA Cooperative Extension Service and has worked in water quality and sustainable agriculture programs. He was named the 2012 Farmer of the Year by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service and is a current member of the Cornucopia Institute's Policy Advisory Panel.
Thicke's five-year term began Jan. 24, 2013, replacing Barry Flamm as one of the three environmentalists serving on the NOSB.
The upcoming meeting will take place at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower, 921 Southwest Sixth Ave..
Deadline to sign up for public comments is March 19.
Details on the agenda as well as how to submit public or written comments are at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ Click on National Organic Program.